Jon Huntsman, the man with sterling credentials for the world’s highest office. The candidate whose “baggage”, if any, wouldn’t fill a motorcycle toolkit pack. The 51 year-old who has already enjoyed success enough for four very successful lifetimes: as a husband and father, as a businessman, as an ambassador and not least as an effective and popular two-term governor.
His conservative bona fides are as solid as his love of country. He is proud to be a servant of our republic and is in every way an example of the citizen-politician the Founders had in mind.
There is nothing phony here. Nothing that can’t stand the light of high noon on the equator. If you find him a bit stiff please to remember he quit high school to go full-time rock band member. He delights still in making music. Motorcycles are a passion. His beautiful family of seven includes two adopted kids. His sons both serve in the US Navy and the three older girls with wife Mary Kaye are real campaign assets.
Here’s what the Obama campaign will face if Gov./Amb Huntsman leads the GOP:
Curriculum Vitae-Jon Meade Huntsman
At 21 Huntsman is a staff assistant in the Reagan administration, two years later he marries then joins the family business as a project manager and secretary. In 1984 he is named Utah state director of the Reagan-Bush re-elect campaign. The next year Jon and his brothers help their dad as Huntsman Corp faces serious financial problems. These are solved and Huntsman Corp experiences solid growth going forward creating many job opportunities. 1987 sees Jon graduate from the University of Pennsylvania with a degree in International Politics. Now an officer of Huntsman he and Mary Kaye take their young family to Taiwan where he helps oversee global expansion for the enterprise.
At age 30 Jon is nominated by President Bush to be deputy assistant secretary of commerce for East Asia and the Pacific and just two years later is named US Ambassador to Singapore, the youngest US ambassador since the 19th century. No doubt his fluency in Mandarin and Hokkien are duly noted.
While President Obama was no doubt honing his community organizing skills Huntsman after returning from Singapore was serving as vice-chairman of the board and member of Huntsman Corp’s executive committee. During this time he became head of the Huntsman Cancer Foundation. He has served many other charitable efforts including holding a seat on the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation’s national board.
Jon won an eight-person contest to represent the GOP in Utah’s 2004 gubernatorial election. He won and was easily re-elected for a second term. After his first inauguration he immediately began a 10-point plan to improve government efficiency as well as the business climate in Utah. During this time the Pew Center on the States named Utah as the best managed state in the nation.
Utah’s taxpayers were well served by their conservative chief executive. The tax code was simplified, government made more efficient and because of a business friendly approach that was especially tailored for small business job creation Utah’s tax base expanded, the classic conservative double play.
Gov Huntsman’s health care approach was also conservative. It’s market based and offers Utah residents broad choices and the ability to negotiate what best suits them. It is miles from Romneycare. More importantly it provides Huntsman with a real-world alternative to Obamacare. Candidate Huntsman can leverage the unpopularity of Obamacare like no other Republican.
Fact is Huntsman is the best possible candidate to both win the election AND not break conservative hearts once in the White House. You and I know exactly what we’ll get with President Huntsman. He’s a solid conservative who is uniquely qualified to both win moderates and expand the conservative base by actively demonstrating the supremacy of the historic conservative approach; pragmatic governance based on the lessons of history and constitutional restraint.
And Gov Huntsman is solidly pro-life and recognizes and supports second amendment rights.
I recognize and respect the reservations some have regarding Gov Huntsman. His claim of being a “sane” Republican was needlessly snotty. I would humbly ask him to examine the so-called “science” behind global warming as the left posits it, a grave threat to the planet.
But frankly these points, in my judgment, are a first-class example of the “perfect being the enemy of the good” We are conservatives for heaven’s sake. We are rightly wary of any politician who claims to have it all, any platform claiming to solve it all.
Huntsman’s rhetoric, record and recommendations mark him as a solid conservative. In the general he will not only excite the base he will broaden it.
Another very important advantage Huntsman brings is not quite as apparent: He doesn’t need a continuing bad economy to beat Obama. The US economy is dynamic and in spite of Obamanomics might just be on the upswing in 2012. Here’s where I think Huntsman’s resume and plain talk will carry the day. Fifty-three per cent of voters choose “Hope and Change” in 2008. I believed then and believe now that Hope and Change translated into reform. And Obama and the Democrats didn’t deliver bringing them the 2010 smack down. Huntsman is uniquely qualified to come before the voters as a credible reformer. Further he can articulate why no matter the improvement that may come in 2012 it is paltry compared to what the US economy can do when given a fair chance.
Jon Huntsman is by far the best candidate the Republican Party can offer in 2012. He has none of the problems which the other hopefuls will have in the general. The breadth of his experience, the coolness of his approach, his record of accomplishment, the fact President Obama picked him for the nation’s number one diplomatic posting, his clean personal life; all of these will bring victory.